This is Valentine’s Day weekend, so lots of people will be looking for date-night options. There are a number of Valentine’s-specific events that Molly Gilmore has detailed here, so I won’t duplicate her efforts. But there is lots of other entertainment this weekend that might suit you and your special someone just as well. Check it out.
Friday through Sunday
The seventh annual Oly Old-time Festival kicks off Thursday (Feb. 12) and runs through the weekend, offering concerts, square dances, jams and workshops that celebrate and spread the word about the joys of old-time music and craft. You’ll find the fun in three Olympia locales: the Olympia Ballroom, 116 Legion Way SW; First Christian Church, 701 Franklin St. SE; and Arbutus Folk School, 600 Fourth Ave. E. Tickets are $15 each for the Thursday and Friday night concerts and Saturday night dance, free for ages 12 and younger; free for workshops (except the basketry workshop, which has a $20 materials fee). There’s a complete schedule at olyoldtime.org or olyoldtime.weebly.com/tickets.html — and be sure to read Molly Gilmore’s story about this year’s events here.
Friday (Feb. 13)
Need a dose of Mardi Gras without traveling to Louisiana? Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience create a blend of New Orleans funk, reggae, world blues and American zydeco music in their live performances. Catch the Grammy-winning group at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Feb. 13) at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St., Olympia. Tickets are $14.50-$39, plus a $3-per-ticket service fee, and are available by phone or online; 360-753-8585, washingtoncenter.org.
Friday (Feb. 13)
Friday (Feb. 13)-Saturday
Laughs and thrills
Harlequin Productions’ “The 39 Steps,” the comedy stage version of Hitchcock’s film thriller of the same name, wraps up its run this weekend. It features four actors playing more than 100 characters in an array of locations, train rides, chase scenes and prat falls. Catch it at the State Theater, 202 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia. Tickets are $20-$32 and are available by phone or online; 360-786-0151, harlequinproductions.org.
Friday (Feb. 13)-Sunday
Vanquish fear here
Family friendly Irish folktale
Bring the family out for the Olympia Film Society’s screening of “Song of the Sea” at 11 a.m. Saturday at Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia. The film by Irish animator Tomm Moore is an adaptation of an Irish folktale about siblings in a world of magic and ancient mysteries. Kid 12 and younger are admitted free to the film; general admission is $8, or $5 OFS members. For more information, go to olympiafilmsociety.org.
A valentine for nature
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the kids at the Puget Sound We Love You arts and crafts event at LOTT’s WET Science Center, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia. Families will learn about the marine environment and the creatures in it, and make art projects at the free event that runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Learn more about the center at lottcleanwater.org.
Drawing from the roots of traditional American music, the Blackberry Bushes String Band is an alt-folk Northwest group that is well known locally as well as around the country. See them perform at 9 p.m. Saturday along with Wild Rabbit and Renegade String Band at Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia. For more information, call 360-705-0760.
Saturday & Sunday
No blarney here
The eighth annual Sean-Nos Northwest Festival celebrates old-style Irish dancing and music as well as Gaeilge, or Gaelic, the Irish language. There’ll be classes in singing, instrumental music, dancing, language and culture. There’s also a cultural sampler program, targeted to newcomers, on Saturday only. The festival runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Communications Building at The Evergreen State College, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Olympia. Admission is $45 per day, $22.50 per day for kids; $40 for Saturday sampler program; $75 for the full weekend of classes. Tickets are available at the door. For more information, go to seannos.org. Also, festival instructors will play, sing, dance and tell stories at 7 p.m. Saturday at Traditions Cafe, 300 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia. Tickets are $15. And a traditional session — an informal gathering with music and dance — will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at Cooper Point Public House, 3002 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia. There’s no cover charge.